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Poster: TheGreenLama Date: Jan 28, 2013 9:13am
Forum: opensource_audio Subject: Uploader Privacy Rights - Fact or Fiction?

Uploader Privacy Rights - Fact or Fiction?

On the Internet Archive's FAQ page, if you scroll down to "Rights," this question is posed:

"How can I contact the person / group who uploaded an item?"

The answer given by the folks at IA states,

"Internet Archive is unable to release any contact information for patrons. However, it may be worth your while to post a review for the item in question - this automatically contacts the uploader's account, notifying them that their upload has been reviewed. You could pose queries/requests for information therein."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the operators of IA are being disingenuous with this claim, generally, for items uploaded to the Audio category, and specifically, for items within the Community Audio category (to name but a few). Go to any item page and open the Metadata file. There is the uploader's email address for all to see! There may also be actual names in fields for "creator" or "artist" that, in many instances, have been added intentionally during the upload process, however, there can be instances where these fields have been filled in UNINTENTIONALLY, in the case of audio files that were pre-screened using iTunes prior to upload. To make matters more confusing, from a privacy rights standpoint, the uploader email address, or even parts of this address, is searchable using the IA search engine. [A cautionary note on iTunes: Any data fields that are filled in on the Info page of an audio file that was run through iTunes prior to uploading to IA remains permanently attached to the IA derivative files for all downloaders to view. As far as I can tell, this info can NOT be edited away using the "Edit" options within an IA page.]

Are people who upload files onto the IA site generally aware of this? And why do the hosts of IA not place a caveat on the above mentioned statements, alerting potential uploaders of this dilemma?

I expect that for many this is not an issue. Most wish to receive recognition for work posted here, which I applaud. But shouldn't the disclosure of an uploader's information, like an email address, be OPTIONAL, and NOT a prerequisite for "sharing" files online? It makes the point of a "screen name" laughable, superfluous, and misleading to any uploader of data. If it is going to remain the policy of IA to share email addresses with others, please state this plainly, making it clear for all to see.

Could a representative from the Internet Archive please publicly address these concerns here. (And please include herein, with your response, your personal email address so any reader with similar concerns may share their personal thoughts with you directly and in a timely manner.)

Thank you.